Among TDC69 winners, Lebanese designer Reina Akkoush honored for type design 'Yasar'
Posted on 2023 May,17  | By ArabAd's staff

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The Type Directors Club, the world’s leading typography organization and part of The One Club, has announced the Best of Discipline winners for professional and student entries and Judge’s Choice winners in its prestigious TDC69 Competition. Among TDC69’s student entries, Reina Akkoush, from the American University of Beirut who received Best of Discipline honors for her Type Design project 'Yasar'

The Type Directors Club, the world’s renowned typography organization that is part of The One Club for Creativity, announced the Best of Discipline for professional and student entries and Judge’s Choice winners in its prestigious TDC69 Competition.

Best of Typography was awarded to Morcos Key New York for “I Want Sky”, a newsprint collection of prose, poems, and hybrid work celebrating Egyptian activist Sarah Hegazy, created for the publication Mizna.

Morcos Key is a Brooklyn-based design studio of co-founders Jon(athan) Key and Lebanese designer Wael Morcos.

Best of Lettering went to Principal Montréal for their 2022 branding for “Jardins de Métis”. With that year's theme of “‘adaptation”, the design features animated lettering that moves and adapts to its container and the letters surrounding it.

Universal Thirst, based in Bangalore and Reykjavík, received Best of Type Design for their psychedelic-inspired display Tamil typeface “Ilai”.

TDC69’s student entries also received Best of Discipline honors, along with a monetary prize.

Among the student Best of Discipline winners, Lebanese graphic designer Reina Akkoush who was honered for her type design project titled 'Yasar'.

Yasar is an Arabic display typeface characterized by its strong baseline and its alternation between sharp edges and soft curves. The font is an interpretation of lettering found on a Movement of Independent Nasserists or Mourabitoun poster at the American University of Beirut Archive dating back to the 1980s. They, along with numerous other key parties and militias, shaped the Lebanese and Middle Eastern Left of the 20th century. This font acts as a tribute or an ode to these groups while also establishing a new identity for the contemporary revolutionary forces of the Middle East. It comes in one weight and 8 stylistic variations which could be layered to create new compositions. Accessibility to non-designers was a key theme in Akkoush design process, establishing a sense radical anti-design through the letterforms. Yasar was the final year project presented by Akkoush at the American University of Beirut.

The esteemed jury of 28 leading professionals from around the world also made their personal Judge’s Choice selections from among all of this year’s winners, which will appear in Typography 44: The World’s Best Typography annual alongside a write-up on why each judge felt the work deserved special honor.

TDC69 winners were announced last month, with Morcos Key New York leading the way with five TDC69 Certificates of Typographic Excellence. Studio Dumbar/DEPT Rotterdam, The New York Times Magazine New York, and Typotheque The Hague were awarded four wins each. 

Entries were received from 77 countries this year and winners were selected from 42, both totals being the most in the organization’s 76-year history. The top five countries for winners are the United States with 52, followed by Germany with 24, China with 23, Netherlands with 11, and Ukraine with nine. 

Previously divided into two competitions, one each for Communications Design and Typeface Design, the program is now a single competition consisting of three disciplines: Typography, Type Design, and, for the first time, Lettering.

All winners of TDC69 receive a Certificate of Typographic Excellence certifying their work is among the world’s best of the year. Winning work will also be featured in the highly respected TDC Annual, The World’s Best Typography, and showcased in eight exhibitions that travel to museums, schools, and design organizations around the world.